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WPIN AM & FM - A History

WPIN-AM 680 Clearwater & WPIN-FM 107.3 St. Petersburg – In 1950, Florida West Coast Broadcasters (Arthur Mundorff, president) acquired WCLE, a CLEarwater daytimer operating on 680 kHz, from Clearwater Broadcasting Co. Inc. (Houston Cox, Jr., president) and changed it to WPIN (PINellas County). Offices and studios were set up in St. Petersburg’s Royal Palm Hotel on Fifth Street South, although it was not re-licensed to St. Pete until 1953. According to newspaper listings, the station programmed popular music and light classics.

When the Royal Palm Hotel was scheduled for demolition to make room for a five-story addition to the St. Petersburg Times-Independent complex in 1958, WPIN moved to the tower site (later named Broadcast House) on 62nd Avenue North at 28th Street North. Seven years later, in 1965, WPIN-FM went on the air with 31,000 watts at 107.3 mHz with separate programming from the AM.

WWBA, Inc. (Ed Winton, president) bought the WPIN combo in 1968 and switched them to beautiful music WWBA.

Other names from WPIN history include: Herb Anderson (GM-1951; news director-1960; sales manager-1964), Manley St. Jean (chief engineer-1951), Lloyd Wyngarden (news & sports director-1951), Mani O’Mara (women’s director-1951), George Gardiner (farm director-1951), Dr. Charles Farrington (Florida West Coast Broadcasters, president-1953), Bill Wright (sports director-1953; news director/promotions-1954), Syd Shrode (women’s director-1953), James Carley (PD-1953, 1960; news director-1955), Bob Clayton (farm director-1953; sports director-1954), Dick Baker (farm editor-1954), Marge Blank (women’s director-1954), Dick Marsh (sales manager-1955), Larry Rhodes (sports director-1956), Georgiana Bushnell (women’s director-1956; promotions-1960), John Walker (chief engineer-1957), Bert Coyle (chief engineer-1960), Chuck DeWitt, Jr. (news director-1961), Bob Ludden (PD-1964; news director-1967), Paul Hayes (PD-1968), Lee Chapman (promotions-1968), Howard Maits (news director-1968), and Ed Wallis (chief engineer-1968).

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Station History

1950 - 1968 Other Tampa Bay Area Stations (History)

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